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LU Brings Things Together as Last Week Starts

April 14, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Matt Bevins is one of several players head coach Danny Rocco spotlighted during his review of the Flames' special team units this evening.

Matt Bevins is one of several players head coach Danny Rocco spotlighted during his review of the Flames' special team units this evening.

Following two days off to celebrate Easter with family and friends, the Flames returned to the turf, Tuesday evening, to begin their final week of spring practice under the lights at Williams Stadium.

A continual trend of spring practice 2009 reared its ugly head again midway through the two-hour session, as partly cloudy skies gave way to steady showers, creating less than ideal practice conditions for head coach Danny Rocco and his youthful squad.

"We had a lot of rain out here tonight and it kind of factored into our practice, as it was a little bit sloppier than I would have liked," stated Rocco. "We've also got a few guys banged up right now, which is also making it a little bit more challenging to come out here and be as efficient as you want to be in practice."

Practice No. 12 of 15 saw a wide array of Liberty's playbook, as the team executed virtually every phase of its offense and defense, outside of its goal line drills.

"The kids are trying hard and I think they understand the significant of this last week" continued Rocco. "I hope that we can finish strong, so we can have a good product out here on Saturday for the spring game and have some confidence as we go into the summer."

After taking Wednesday off, the Flames will return to Williams Stadium for their last night practice of the spring and final practice in full pads before an all-out scrimmage during the annual spring game on Saturday afternoon, which starts at 1 p.m.

During the two-hour workout session, the Flames will run seven different sets of 12-play packages, pitting the first team offense versus the first team defense, second team offense against the second team defense and third team offense against the third team defense. Liberty will be "on the line" at 7:30 p.m., to begin the scrimmage dominated practice.

"On Thursday, we have our last dress rehearsal opportunity to cover just about any and every situation that could come up in the spring game," previewed Rocco when asked about Thursday's practice. "We will be very cognoscente of scripting the spring game, making sure we face many different situations, including goal line, red zone and first, second and third-down plays. We've got a little checklist that we go over and we will cover everything on that checklist, so that we feel like we have ourselves ready to perform on Saturday."

Coach's Corner with Head Coach Danny Rocco
As brings to a close its coverage of this year's spring practice workouts, the web site will conclude its "Coach's Corner" segments with head coach Danny Rocco, breaking down the three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams.

Today, we begin this week's special teams emphasis "Coach's Corner" segment by getting insight into Liberty's special teams unit from Rocco:

"The biggest thing that we worked on during this spring practice was two different phases of special teams, even though we are introducing a little bit of everything. We worked very hard on our punt game, including our punt protection. We've got a new snapper, as All American Dan Pope concluded his career last season and we've got a lot of new people in new spots on punt protection this year. We also worked very hard on our field goal protection and our field goal kicking game this spring."

"We feel really good about our kickers, as Matt Bevins and Mike Larsson both had outstanding freshman seasons. Both Paul Young and Ben Shipps are back to being healthy, so we have some depth there in the kicking game, which I feel very good about."

"I think we have a lot of the right people in the right spots, as far as our protection on both the field goal and punt units. Now, we are just trying to identify our return men. We are not doing any live kick offs or live punt returns this spring, but we are identifying who can catch and field the ball, who can make good decisions once they get the ball and who has a chance to get some yards downfield."